Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur,
2 Jalan Stesen Sentral Kuala Lumpur Sentral,
Tel: 03-2263 7434
Business hours: Monday to Friday – noon to 2.30 pm (lunch)
Monday to Sunday – 6.30 pm to 11.00pm (dinner)\
SEATED in front of a group of zealous reporters at Prime, Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur, three Michelin star chef Philippe Marc was all smiles as he spoke in rapid French.
Poised and amiable, Marc is every bit a star studded chef. He answered questions of eager reporters while Le Meridien Kuala Lumpur’s executive chef Antoine Rodriguez translated at length.
Inspired by his grandmother who owned a bistro in a railway station in France, Marc began cooking simple dishes at a young age.
After a short stint in the army, he ventured out at 21, working for three Michelin star chefs.
He was working in numerous luxury hotels such as Vista Palace at Roque Brune, Don Ceaser in Antibess and the famous Hotel De Paris in Monte Carlo where he first caught the attention of the legendary Alain Ducasse.
Several years later down the road, he caught the attention of Ducasse again after positive reviews in the press.
The latter offered him the position of executive chef of the Kitchens in Plaza Athenee.
This week, Marc will be cooking up a five-course dinner menu at Prime till tomorrow.
His approach to food is simple; right cooking time, right products and right seasoning.
Marc has no signature dishes. He said France has produces that vary with each season, for him each product at different seasons is a signature on its own.
“I only use local products and do not import anything. Each is selected from farms and we work closely with the people to get high quality products,” said Marc.
He was impressed by the fresh products we have here and according to Rodriguez, was very flexible in the kitchen.
For the weeks stint, Marc created a special menu that began with the Potato Foam with Smoked Halibut and Arenka Caviar.
This dish blew most of us away. The well seasoned halibut was an excellent pair with the light potato foam. The Arenka caviar was an alternative made from smoked herring and squid ink that literally melted in my mouth.
The next starter was the King Crab and Celeriac Remoulade, Granny Smith Apple and Coral Jus.
Every bite was quite delicious because of the combination of ingredients used. The dish was flavourful since it had ginger in it and the apples ended each bite with a delightful crunch.
After tasting the first two dishes, I was eager to try a favourite ingredient, the sea scallop.
The dish was made from scallop topped with fine crispy dough, artichoke puree and truffles.
On its own, the scallop was sweet, the artichoke a little sour but together they were divine on the palate.
The sweetness was balanced by the tartness of the artichoke while the truffles gave it a nice finish.
We were also served the Steamed Sea Bass Fillet, Green Asparagus Polenta with Sweet and Sour Sauce.
Here the sauce took us completely by surprise. What I thought to be plum sauce was actually oyster sauce mixed with a myriad of ingredients including cinnamon, ginger, honey and apple vinegar and later strained to get the thick sauce.
The final result was a succulent sea bass with a smooth polenta and a sauce that added flavour to the dish.
The second last dish was Crispy Lamb Cutlet, Sauteed Zucchini and Artichokes Poivrade served with Caramelised Onion Juice.
Cutting through the lamb, I realised the first layer was nice and crisp but the knife slided right through the medium rare meat which was tender and juicy.
The caramelised onion juice was sweet but the sweetness was from the onions entirely.
For dessert, we had a piece of heaven on our plate — All Chocolate and Hazelnut Pralines from Piemonte.
The dessert made entirely from chocolate and nuts was specially created for this promotion.
Each bite was a divine layer of texture in the mouth beginning with the thin chocolate square, followed by the crunchy nuts, the praline sauce and finally the chocolate base.
The five-course dinner is priced at RM488++ per person while the dinner menu paired with wine is RM598++ per person.
This is the writer’s personal observation and is not an endorsement by StarMetro.